19 April 2007 Edition

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DPP failing to prosecute British crown forces

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice issues Alex Maskey has said that there is a clear problem within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions when it comes to prosecuting members of British State Forces who have been involved in killing citizens in Ireland.
Maskey cited what he described as “the clear and obvious failure by the current Director of Public Prosecutions Alistair Frazer to prosecute members of the British Crown Forces who have been involved in killings”. Maskey said:
“In April 2003 the Stevens Report was published. John Stevens, at the time Britain's leading police officer, confirmed that collusion took place and recommended to the DPP the prosecution of numerous members of Special Branch. Almost four years on the Stevens file and recommendations sit on Alistair Frazer's desk.
“When the Police Ombudsman recently published her report confirming widespread collusion between the Special Branch and the UVF in Mount Vernon the DPP immediately blocked any prosecutions of those responsible.
“Likewise this week in another Police Ombudsman Report it was confirmed that Paul Whitters a 15 year old Derry schoolboy was killed by an RUC man firing a plastic bullet at his head from a close distance. There was no proper inquiry into this death. Again the DPP had recommended no prosecution against the RUC member involved or those who carried out the inquiry.
"It is fairly obvious to anyone looking rationally at the performance of the DPP in these cases that there is a policy of not prosecuting members of the Crown Forces involved in the controversial deaths of citizens. This is ?completely unacceptable and goes to the very heart of efforts to build nationalist and republican confidence in the Criminal Justice system."

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